Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the east coast of American on Friday and, according to reports, up to 1.7 million (m) people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
US President Donald Trump has already signed declarations of emergency for both North Carolina and South Carolina.
Smithfield has numerous operations, both plants and farms, and more than 14,000 employees across both states and has enacted its hurricane preparedness procedures.
It said that employees in the company’s eastern Virginia and North Carolina plants and on its approximately 250 company-owned farms and 1,500 contract farms were taking steps to protect people, animals and buildings against wind and rain damage.
On its farms, the company said it had been closely monitoring and, as necessary, lowering lagoon levels in accordance with state regulations and farms’ nutrient management plans, and encouraging its contract growers to do the same.
“The safety of our employees is top of mind and we will continue to actively monitor the storm’s track and adjust production schedules accordingly,” said Keira Lombardo, Smithfield Foods senior vice president of corporate affairs.
“We will also remain in constant contact with state emergency and regulatory personnel throughout the event.”
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company. It said it is the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the US, the company has numerous packaged meats products with popular brands including Smithfield, Eckrich, Nathan’s Famous, Farmland, Armour, Farmer John, Kretschmar, John Morrell, Cook’s, Gwaltney, Carando, Margherita, Curly’s, Healthy Ones, Morliny, Krakus and Berlinki.
Smithfield Foods can be traced back to the opening of the Smithfield Packing Company in 1936 in Smithfield, Virginia.